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BristolCon 2014 – A Note From The Chair

October 29th, 2014 · No Comments

BristolCon 2014 has been widely heralded online as the Best BristolCon Yet, and a lot of people need to be thanked for helping to pull that off. The Art Room and Dealers Room sold out in record time, and were hugely successful despite some unforeseen logistical hiccups that luckily went unnoticed by most of our con attendees, who had once again braved tangled roadworks, rail replacement buses and the intricacies of Bristol’s labyrinthine one-way system to be with us. Thank you all for coming.

Thanks once again go to Mike Bowyer of Roundstone Framing in Trowbridge for the loan of his art equipment and last-minute supply of a van to transport them in. The art room was lively and crowded and the display looked great.

Special thanks to our guests of honour, who this year were Julian Quaye, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, and Emma Newman, and to Dev Agarwal, Jonathan Wright and Gareth L Powell who took on interviewing duties and poured tea. Thanks also to the rest of our panellists and moderators who took on such a broad range of topics. And to John Baverstock who pushed buttons, made lights flash and swirl, and introduced panels with impressively bombastic theme music, ably assisted by Matt Bishop, and to the PA manoeuvring team of Chris and Bev Rumble.

Thanks to the committee, who have been working very hard all year to make the con a success — Cheryl, Meg, Ade, Claire, Andy, Roz, Scott, Mark, Des, Mike and Amanda. Without people willing to sacrifice their time, energy and marbles, we wouldn’t be able to make BristolCon the success it continues to be.

We have a horde of wonderful orange lanyard-wearing minions who make time on the day to run desks, shift furniture, find chairs, make cake, find more chairs, smile and direct people and generally keep things running like slightly sproingy clockwork. Thank you to Sam and Tom Bishop, Pat Hawkes-Reed, Chris Horner, Clare Neilson, Lor Graham, Rob Harkess, Dan Pawley, and Ian, Piotr and Snorri, who weren’t minions but kept being in the right place at the right time (or the wrong place at the wrong time).

Ian Whates hosted a fabulous book launch for Kim Lakin-Smith’s “Cyber Circus” and dished out loads of free books, and freebie thanks too to Phil Norris for the prize draw prizes, Jo Fletcher Books, and Sophie Calder and Charlie Panayiotou from Gollancz who not only sent us books but made sure they arrived.

Bristol Bad Film Club brought us a truly terrible film and a ferret, much to the alarm of the hotel, and Jon Dowling and Scott Lewis ran our expanded games room in an exceptional manner. Pith helmets doffed all round to you splendid chaps!

We are very grateful to the accommodating and patient staff at the Hilton Doubletree, particularly the capable Leonie in conference sales, Rachel, and the tireless and ever-smiling Hotel Chris, who must dread our arrival but manages to never show it….

Thank you also to Forbidden Planet for providing our goodie bags, and to SFX, Ujiima Radio, Northcliffe Press, Bristol 24/7 @Bristol52 on Twitter, Bristol Literature Festival, Wizard’s Tower Press, Grimbold Books and Oxfam Bookshop in Cotham. And our long-suffering families – you have all been incredibly supportive.

Next year BristolCon is confirmed for the slightly earlier date of September 26th, when our Guests of Honour will be Jasper Fforde and Jaine Fenn. Hope to see you there, if not before!

Best wishes,

Jo Hall (Con Chair)

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Happy BristolCon New Year

October 29th, 2014 · No Comments

Today is the day that I flip the website from 2014 to 2015, and we look back at the past year whilst simultaneously opening the doors to the year to come.

For me personally, it’s as significant as any of the other annual events in the calendar. BristolCon 2014 was fabulous, and we’ll have our work cut out to make 2015 even better.

Jo will be posting a Chair’s Note soon, in the mean time please bear with us while the website undergoes some changes.

-Roz

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It’s Friday, Friday, Friday Night!

October 24th, 2014 · No Comments

Friday Night is pre-Bristolcon night at the Doubletree, and here’s the skinny on what’s going down, dudes…

Your BristolCon Committee will be at the hotel from around six – just follow the excited yelling. If you turn up and want to help we can find work for you, and if you stand still for too long you might end up recruited!

Early registration will be from around 6.30 in the foyer (at the top of the Cinderella stairs, by the lifts) – come and grab your name badge and your goodie bag to save time queuing in the morning

From 7.30 the BristolCon Fringe in the shape of Roz and Scott will be holding an open mic in the main bar of the hotel – free to all, five minute readings, just turn up and let them know you want to join in.

All the Concom will be wearing tasty orange lanyards and mildly harassed expressions – we really are very friendly so if you have any questions or don’t know where to go or what to do grab one of us and we’ll try and help you out.

Registration on Saturday morning opens at nine, and the programme starts at 9.45.

See some of you tonight and more of you tomorrow!

 

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Online Registration Closing Soon!

October 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

Online registration for BristolCon 2014 will CLOSE at noon tomorrow (Friday 24th) – make sure you’re signed up here before then to take advantage of the discount rate!

If you don’t manage to sign up before then you will be able to register on the door for £30.

See you on Saturday!

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Small Group Sessions Highlight #6 – Terry Jackman’s Writing Challenge

October 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

 “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”  

                                                                                                                           Douglas Adams.

So image you have a deadline. And imagine its only 45 minutes away. So what will you do? Sharpen all your biros, make a fourteenth cup of tea, just check your email one last time…?

In that case you need help from author and prolific reviewer Terry Jackman, whose first novel, Ashamet, is due early next year.  Her not-too-serious challenge will get you writing something, all within 45 minutes. Come along, see if the experience of writing is for you, or push yourself to see how much you can produce in that time. (In my experience, writing exercises like this are very good for getting you unstuck too, so if you’re a writer who feels a bit bunged-up, this could help! Terry will be on hand to provide guidance, and to help, encourage and cajole you along.

Places in all small group sessions are free, but strictly limited to 9 people. If you would like to book a place, please email us at programme [at] bristolcon.org. Five places in each session are available to book in advance, and four will be kept back for people to sign up at the convention but you may need to get to there early. At-con booking will open at 9:00am at the Committee Table, and will be on a first-come-first-served basis.

For more information of the rest of the Small Group Sessions, please take a look at this page. Advance spaces are filling up fast, and time and tide and buttered eggs wait for no man…

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Small Group Sessions Highlight #5 – Mining the Past with Dev Agarwal

October 22nd, 2014 · No Comments

Dev Agarwal is an author of dark SF and historical fiction, as well as being a regular contributor of non-fiction to Albedo One and Focus magazines. At BristolCon this year he’s hosting a small group on brainstorming historical events for story ideas. If you fancy trying your hand at at a pseudo-Roman setting, exploring the alleyways of an alternate Alexandria, or just figuring out what intriguing details we can plunder from past eras, bring your thoughts along and Dev will help you turn your inspirations into strong story ideas. Bring your imaginary pick-axe; hard hats optional.

Places in all the small group sessions are free, but strictly limited to 9 people. If you would like to book a place, please email us at programme [at] bristolcon.org. Five places in each session are available to book in advance, and four will be kept back for people to sign up at the convention but you may need to get to there early. At-con booking will open at 9:00am at the Committee Table, and will be on a first-come-first-served basis.

For more information of the rest of the Small Group Sessions, please take a look at this page. Advance spaces are filling up fast, so sign up today!

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PayPal Payments

October 22nd, 2014 · No Comments

It has come to our attention that a few of you have had problems making payments for membership by PayPal. We are looking into this and we have no idea what’s going on, but we will try to find out. It does seem to be effecting only a small minority of people trying to pay by card.

If you are trying to pay by PayPal and having trouble, please contact us straight away at treasurer@bristolcon.org and we will sort out alternative payment options for you.

Sorry for the trouble, we will try to fix it ASAP!

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Small Group Sessions Highlight #4 – Flash a-ah! With Kevlin Henney

October 21st, 2014 · No Comments

Flash, I love you! But we only have fourteen hours to save the earth!

And you only have 45 minutes for a rather excellent Flash Fiction workshop with superb award-winning short-short-story writer Kevlin Henney, who has a policy of never using five words when one will do. At under a thousand words — sometimes under a hundred — flash fiction is something everyone can have a go at. Doesn’t matter whether you write tweets or epic fantasy doorstops, flash is for everyone of us, every man, every woman, every child… And Kevlin will show you how to have fun with something short… ;)

(You’d better be earwormed by now).

Places in all the small group sessions are free, but strictly limited to 9 people. If you would like to book a place, please email us at programme [at] bristolcon.org. Five places in each session are available to book in advance, and four will be kept back for people to sign up at the convention but you may need to get to there early. At-con booking will open at 9:00am at the Committee Table, and will be on a first-come-first-served basis, so get there in a flash!

For more information of the rest of the Small Group Sessions, please take a look at this page. Advance spaces are filling up fast, so sign up quickly, lest we be forced to dispatch war rocket Ajax to bring back your body…

 

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Small Group Sessions Highlights #3: Kaffeklatsch with Jon Courtenay Grimwood

October 20th, 2014 · No Comments

This year at BristolCon our two author guests of honour, Emma Newman and Jon Courtenay Grimwood, will be holding traditional klatsches; intimate conversations around a table about the author’s work and interests.

Jon Courtenay Grimwood has 15 acclaimed novels to his name; 14 speculative fiction and one literary fiction. He’s known for creating original and effective character perspectives as well as for the depth of his historical knowledge. He’s keen to share his insights into the craft of novel writing with convention members, so whether you want to know more about the machinations of an alternate 15th century Venice or into how to write characters with unique voices, this is your opportunity to sit down with a master storyteller and talk to him about his work, and yours.

Places in all the small group sessions are free, but strictly limited to 9 people. If you would like to book a place, please email us at programme [at] bristolcon.org. Five places in each session are available to book in advance, and four will be kept back for people to sign up at the convention but you may need to get to there early. At-con booking will open at 9:00am at the Committee Table, and will be on a first-come-first-served basis.

For more information of the rest of the Small Group Sessions, please take a look at this page. Advance spaces are filling up fast, so sign up quickly!

 

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Small Group Sessions Highlights #2 – Teeklatsch with Emma Newman

October 17th, 2014 · No Comments

As you know, this year at BristolCon we’re running something a bit different to the usual Kaffeeklatsches (though there will still be kaffee. And indeed klatsching. And possibly almost certainly cake too…

Our two author guests of honour, Emma Newman and Jon Courtenay Grimwood, will be holding traditional klatsches; intimate conversations around a table about the author’s work, their interests – and yours.

Emma is the writer behind the Split World series and the Hugo award nominated fancast ‘Tea and Jeopardy’. Her debut novel, ’20 years later’ was published just three years ago, and she attended BristolCon in 2011 as a fledgling novelist and a first-time con-goer. We’re really proud of her, and thrilled she’s appearing as a GoH this year.

She’s willing to talk with you about everything from evil faeries to lovely fairy cakes, including anxiety, writing and dressmaking. Fans of her work won’t want to miss out on this chance to find out more about what makes her characters tick, but even if you’ve never read her before this promises to be a thoroughly enjoyable conversation.

Places in all the small group sessions are free, but strictly limited to 9 people. If you would like to book a place, please email us at programme [at] bristolcon.org. Five places in each session are available to book in advance, and four will be kept back for people to sign up at the convention but you may need to get to there early. At-con booking will open at 9:00am at the Committee Table, and will be on a first-come-first-served basis.

For more information of the rest of the Small Group Sessions, please take a look at this page. Advance spaces are filling up fast, so sign up quickly!

 

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